When you have been in quarantine on two separate occasions here at Montclair State University you tend to get frustrated with the little things, but something as important as food should not be one of them.
I have had the misfortune of going through quarantine twice due to two separate exposure events. The first time I was holed up in a quarantine room with minimal lighting beyond my essential oil diffuser at night. The second time I was lucky enough to get back to my dormitory, but with one small hitch.
Unless you have tested positive and/or show symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), chances are you will not get your food delivered. If you are in quarantine and/or still waiting on your test results to come back, you will have to go out and get it yourself.
The first time I was quarantined, Grubhub pickup was an option I used as much as I could in order to limit the possibility of exposure. However, the second time I was quarantined was right around Thanksgiving and a vast majority of students returned home. Venues to pick up food besides Sam’s Place were closed until the following semester, as was the Grubhub app. So if one wanted to get food, they would have to go to Sam’s Place for something to eat. Despite the fact that I was in a school-mandated quarantine due to exposure to a known infectious disease, I had to go to Sam’s Place and order my food in person.
While shutting down a food service as essential as Grubhub pickup was a necessary evil on campus given the lack of student body, it still creates a great deal of concern for students who remain on campus.
This is not to say that walking to Sam’s Place is a bad thing. It is a valuable form of exercise during quarantine and should not be taken for granted. Walking in an indoor dining area during a period of time where you are expected to be shuttered indoors is extremely dangerous and unethical.
While ordering out through services like DoorDash, Postmates or Uber Eats is very much an option, it should not be the final solution. It can induce more exposure and a hefty price to pay for something as simple as a meal.
This next semester brings a wave of new changes, including a push to bring more residential students onto campus and create a more secure bubble to prevent exposures from happening yet again. There is no guarantee there will be any real significant change to the quarantine policy. Students will still be expected to order via Grubhub and pick it up in person, even if they have been exposed to COVID-19.
Delivery to residential students seems like something that should have been implemented a long time ago. All it takes is a bag of food and a knock at a student’s door. With closed doors and quick drop-offs, it limits the possibility of exposure for students in quarantine. Even if one tests negative, there still is a serious need to quarantine just in case of emergency.
This should not have to be a subject I write an op-ed about, but a common sense policy made by Montclair State since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.